Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Very Disney Anniversary

In 1999, my husband and about twenty-five of our closest friends and family flew to Florida so we could get married in the rose garden of the Yacht Club resort. We would later stay at the luxury Grand Floridian for our honeymoon and play at Disney World for the first week of our marriage. The mixture of romance and fantasy would play a significant role in our marriage over the next decade.

Last week, we celebrated ten years in the same place we started it all: Disney World. We actually dined at the Coral Reef restaurant on our anniversary which is the restaurant where we hosted our reception. We went there for an anniversary lunch. Seated behind the glass in the Living Seas aquarium was a 145 year old sea turtle who took a snooze, rousing every ten to fifteen minutes to swim up and get a deep breath before returning to his napping spot.

Vacation Recap

We drove to Disney World, leaving Dallas at about 4 p.m. on Sunday and arriving in Orlando around 10:30 a.m. the next morning. We were pretty wiped when we got there, but excited too. We checked in and loved our room. It was our first time at the All Star Resorts and the beds were super comfortable and the decor was just bursting to cheerful (we were in the Toy Story section). We unpacked, changed clothes and bounced off to the Magic Kingdom. Probably not our best plan because we were so tired, but it was just so much fun to walk in and start soaking up the atmosphere. Day 2 would be better because we slept, but I started relaxing as soon as the sights, scents and smells of Disney washed over us.

Thankfully, one of the first characters we saw was Donald Duck. On our last visit four years ago, we never caught up with Donald. We kept trying, but we always seemed to miss him. Pretty tough for a family that counts Donald as our favorite Disney character. (Although I think the kiddo changed her mind to Daisy after the trip).

Animal Kingdom, Dining and More

We went around the world at Epcot, letting the kiddo get her passport stamped and experiencing a little of each of the cultures from Canada to the United Kingdom (which she insisted on calling London) to Morocco, Japan, China, Norway and more. We ate dinner at Teppan Edo in Japan (so totally recommend the food and the service, it was delish!).

We spent two days at the Animal Kingdom, particularly the Dinosaur ride (three trips), the dinosaur dig site (4 trips) and the animal safari (just 1 trip) and Kali River Rapids (which guarantees you a soaking good time). We also had Donald's Safari Breakfast there with great food and characters to boot.

We relaxed one afternoon by the pool, just to take some downtime. My feet were seriously yowling about all the long lines, which were totally worth the rides. So the highlights of our trip include:

Magic Kingdom:

*Cassidy meeting all the fairies except Iridessa (she was never there when we went) and the wonderful job they did of interacting and chatting with her. Same for the Princesses too.

*Mickey's Philhar Magic 3D which turned out to be a whacky and fun Donald, 3-D experience.

*The Monster's Inc Laugh In Floor was hilarious and I wished we'd had time to do it again and again.


*Soarin' is always a crowd pleaser. We did this four times and the experience is just indescribably beautiful as you 'soar' over California, experiencing the scents, the sounds and the sights.

*Turtle Talk with Crush is a real winner with kids and adults alike. I wish the Nemo and Friends ride had been more, but this was just loads of fun.

*Mission: Space was different, althought after being inside it, I can see why it gave some people palpitations, this is not a ride for anyone with even mild claustrophobia. The kiddo, however, adored it.

Animal Kindgom:

*Dinosaur was a massive winner with the Star Tours like ride through time and dinosaurs leaping out and roaring. Got the kiddo a couple of times and I was deaf from the screams. Of course, she promptly wanted to do it again.

*The animal safari is a wonderful ride whether we see a lot of animals or not, I love just riding through their built savannah and seeing how much it's changed since it first opened.

*Kali River Rapids was so fun, especially because it was a hot and sultry day and I wasn't hot or sultry when it was over.

But the best part of the whole trip? That's a toss up between just hanging out with my husband and daughter who are so much fun to be with, seeing my daughter dressed up as Batgirl for the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party and being at Disney itself. Best just to ask the kiddo who is firm in her convictions that Splash Mountain rules.

How was your week?


  1. Sounds like fun! I never was in a Disney park. Me wants now!
    My week was really stressy cuz the semester started again but the weekend is really relaxing so far so that's a good compensation. Oh and your girl is really lovely as BatGirl.
    Have a nice weekend.

  2. Hi Heather :)
    Thank you for such a great personal post.
    Thanks for the nice pictures too.
    Congratulations on the wonderful week you had, your anniversary and having such a terrific family.
    Love & Best Wishes,

  3. Glad you had such a good time! Make me itch for a vacation. :)

  4. Hi Heather,

    Glad to hear you had a great time!

    Love the pics and your daughter makes a cute BatGirl!